Are you looking to transform your physical store into an online one? Do you want to enter the online market and provide a new avenue for your customers to shop and buy? Giving an online presence to your brick and mortar store is now possible with a plethora of e-commerce platforms, the most common being Shopify and Magento.
Shopify and Magento Community Edition are preferred by a majority to create and manage online stores. When it comes to choosing the best platform for your online store, the competition is tough. But, you can make a decision after understanding various aspects of both the e-commerce platforms.
A good business owner thinks about ROI because, at the end, it is an important factor that makes a business successful. When you are considering the cost factor, you must know that Shopify is a software-as-a-service (SASS) that you can use after paying money. The basic Shopify plan starts at $ 29 per month. There is also an option called Shopify Lite that is available for only $ 9 per month. There are many different Shopify plans to help business owners choose one that suits them the best.
On the other hand, Magento is a free-open source software. The community edition of Magento is free of cost. And, you will only have to pay for hosting your store online. The premium edition of the software, the Magento Enterprise Edition, costs $ 18,000 per year. If you are not well-versed with PHP, you will have to hire a Magento developer. The cost of hiring a developer varies according to your requirements.
Shopify charges you transaction fees if you do not use their payment gateway and opt for a third-party option. Typically, for the basic plan the charges are 2% of the transaction. When it comes to Magento, the prices are set according to the payment gateway that you use and the plan you select for your business.
Templates are another important thing that can help you make the decision. While both the platforms offer a wide range of free and paid templates, Magento is a clean winner. There are more themes in Magento and the paid ones start from as low as $ 1. If you consider Shopify, paid themes start from $ 80.
As a business owner in today's world, you know that inventory management is a challenge. When you are ready to take your store online, you must have one inventory database that allows you to manage different marketplaces and channels easily.
Shopify is useful for managing inventory for your brick and mortar store as well as the online store. The e-commerce platform has capabilities to help you sell on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And, it also has a PoS (Point of Sale) solution for your in-store inventory management. But, if you are planning to sell on eBay, Amazon and other online portals, your options will decrease significantly and you will have to rely on extensions.
Magento offers real freedom of customization. You can integrate with a number of channels as well as online portals that you consider ideal for expanding your business. There are several extensions available in the market to help you customize your inventory database according to your requirement. The benefit of working with Magento is that it provides customized integrations. It is useful when you are looking to provide unique personalized offers to your customers on the basis of their purchase history. You can even consider different prices for different locations and introduce flash sales with Magento. When you want complete control over inventory management, Magento is the way to go.
The Marketing Factor
Got a great product? If you are unable to market it properly, it is of no use. It will not increase your profit and improve your bottom line. Marketing efficiency is extremely important for an online store. A business owner should be able to edit the content on the website and customize it according to his SEO strategy.
Shopify allows you to edit Meta tags as well as add search engine console tags. However, it is not possible to make substantial changes to the online stored created with the e-commerce portal. It allows basic level changes only. And, as you are on the company's hosting, you can not edit all the aspects of your online store to optimize your marketing strategy.
If you think that Magento can help you in keeping your SEO strategy on track, you are right. As it is an open-solution, your options to customize the online store are limitless. You can conduct on-page optimization easily and edit the Meta tags without any trouble. You can manage the redirects, nofollow as well as canonical tags efficiently with the software making it your favorite e-commerce platform.
If you are a small mom and pop store looking to go online, you can consider Shopify because it is a rather simple e-commerce portal. Even if you do not have any knowledge about creating an online website, Shopify will make things easier for you. It is user-friendly and convenient to use, whereas you may require a Magento developer to create a fully-functional online store with the software.
Remember that Magento proves to be a bit technical in its approach but once you get accustomed with it, it will not prove to be an obstacle for you. And, when you want to create a comprehensive online store that includes all your products, Magento should be your choice. It is ideal for large retail stores as well as home-based businesses looking to expand their market.
When you want to choose an e-commerce platform for your business, choose Magento to enjoy true customization. And, if you are going to hire an IT professional or a managed IT services provider, Magento seems to be the logical choice because of the creative freedom it offers to you.